After another coffee break, a chat with Darren and Julie, and some conversations about blogging and how it can help business (excellent chances to plug sixty4media) I’m now at the front of the room for the next session with William Azaroff of Vancity.
Update: 11:00am – “I don’t think we’re in the money business, we’re in the trust business.” William will be speaking about ChangeEverything, social marketing, and engaging community.
“We want to show you messages on an emotional level as well as a practical and financial level,” noted William as he features ChangeEverything, “the site for people in Vancouver, Victoria and the Lower Mainland who want to change themselves, their communities or their world.”
Examples of participation are EnviroWoman who lived plastic-free for a year and blogged the whole way on ChangeEverything. The next is an example of a snowy day in Vancouver where community members launched a campaign spontaneously to effect change by collecting clothing for homeless in Vancouver. William brings up the point of (essentially) – how does this help a bank? – well through marketing and PR after these campaigns, they got mainstream media coverage of their blog and online community (he’ll talk about solid numbers and conversions at the end of his talk – but those were essentially advertising dollars they didn’t need to spend / media value).
Overall, the mission is to do good in the community through enabled online communications and efforts. However the end result for Vancity as a company is that it gains a solid, trusted, and caring reputation around the region – and with this being a marketing conference, it’s pretty stellar advice.
William says there are authentic and real ways to drive participation in the community and this generates “media value” while helping the environment, those less fortunate, and other worthy causes.
Three takeaways: All social media is inherently authentic, first 500 community members set the tone (including a quote from Rob @ Social Signal – “think concierge, not security guard”), think of community engagement – not social media.
Update: 11:30am – Jon Husband is up next to talk about Enterprise 2.0 – speaking to how organizations used to be fortresses of information (including moats) but now there are so many ways to engage outside of the fortress.
Jon posted a quote that I was able to also find on Wired:
“Companies used to assume that details about their internal workings were valuable precisely because they were secret. If you were cagey about your plans, you had the upper hand; if you kept your next big idea to yourself, people couldn’t steal it. Now, billion- dollar ideas come to CEOs who give them away; corporations that publicize their failings grow stronger. Power comes not from your Rolodex but from how many bloggers link to you – and everyone trembles before search engine rankings.”
“Talking, listening, interaction,” “Your brand is what Google says it is,” Jon drives home the thought that blogs are more effective than other SEO tactics.
What DOESNT work with blogs: blatant self-promotion, press releases, corporate “talk”, online brochures or smoke and mirrors.
What WORKS with blogs: Point, passion, personality and perseverance.
Jon says that no matter which tools you use, it’s all about the people. People in a community, people online, people are your audience (and they’re driving your campaigns). “Humanize Your Organization.”
If your company is thinking of blogging make sure people will be interested and that your business can support it. Credit link sources, read other blogs, comment on other blogs – be a person too.
Blogs can be internal as well – “inside the firewall” – you can use them for project management, marketing, and community in your organization.
Question from the audience: “Specialization yields better efficiency”
Answer from Jon: There are just as many stories of terrible results because the specialist didn’t know what they were doing in this environment.
TIME FOR LUNCH!